Nunes Gave Trump ‘Secretly Altered’ Version Of Memo: Report
In another extraordinary development in the Trump-Russia scandal, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff (Calif) accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) of sharing with President Trump a “secretly altered” version of the Republican-crafted memo alleging political bias and corrosive abuse of United States surveillance powers by the Justice Department.
In a letter to Nunes, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee calls out the committee chair for making “substantive” changes to the confidential memo before sharing it with White House counsel for release.
Those changes, Schiff said, were not approved by the full committee as protocol dictates.
“Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House, therefore, reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release.” Schiff said in a tweet.
Trump was expected to announce early Friday his decision on releasing the controversial, classified memo. Schiff’s letter could delay such a decision.
“This evening the Committee Minority discovered that the classified memorandum shared by the Committee Majority with the White House is not, in fact, the same document that Members of the House of Representatives have been reviewing since January 18, 2018 and that the Committee Majority voted on Monday to release to the public, over objections from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the letter from Schiff reads.
Schiff goes on to say that after Democrats found the document “had been secretly altered,” committee Republicans offered them the opportunity to compare the memo sent to the White House with the memo that was made public to all House Members.
Schiff’s letter comes after the FBI denounced the document in a statement earlier Wednesday, saying it has “grave concerns” about the charges made in the memo.
“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the bureau said.
Committee Republicans led by Nunes voted on Monday to release the document to the public, following a review by White House counsel. The memo purportedly details abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the U.S. government.
The memo was then turned over to Trump, who is expected to review the document and ultimately decide on whether it is made public.
Committee Democrats have warned that the document is inaccurate, and led by Schiff have drafted their own memo with the intent to counter Republicans’ claims. That memo, however, was voted down when Democrats on the committee attempted to make it public.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schummer (D-N.Y.) called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to “put an end to this charade” after Schiff sent his letter to Nunes.
“It’s clear that Chairman Nunes will seemingly stop at nothing to undermine the rule of law and interfere with the Russia probe,” Schumer said. “He’s been willing to carry the White House’s water, attack our law enforcement and intelligence officials, and now to mislead his House colleagues. If Speaker Ryan cares about the integrity of the House or the rule of law, he will put an end to this charade once and for all.”
Read Schiff’s letter below:
BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release. pic.twitter.com/llhQK9L7l6
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 1, 2018